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The Rand Paul plagiarism accusation is absurd

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Oct 31, 2013.

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  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I bring this up not because it's inherently political, which it's not, even though Paul is somewhat of a polarizing figure and a serious candidate to be our next president. I bring it up because it's pretty relevant to people who write in the 21st century.

    Background: Paul was giving a speech about, I believe, genetic engineering of some sort. He compared it to the movie "Gattaca." In describing the plot of "Gattaca," he quoted from Wikipedia. Except he didn't credit Wikipedia.


    The speech — which he delivered Monday at Liberty University in Virginia on behalf of the Republican candidate for governor, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II — contained this line: “In the not-too-distant future, eugenics is common, and DNA plays a primary role in determining your social class.”

    The Wikipedia entry reads: “In ‘the not-too-distant future,’ liberal eugenics is common, and DNA plays the primary role in determining social class.”

    If he were writing a newspaper piece, I assume that Paul would have put quotes around the passage, or paraphrased it and perhaps said, "according to Wikipedia." In a speech, though, that would have been awfully clunky to do. He wasn't co-opting James Joyce. He was giving the elevator summary of a 15-year-old movie.

    Anyway, to the larger point, the plagiarism police are getting a little bit out of control. Earlier in the month, a woman accused author Dave Eggers of "plagiarizing" her non-fiction book because his novel contained settings that were similar. And at some point, it seems OK to take something like a movie plot or blunt fact, un-stylisticly written, without attribution. I would think that politicians would be particularly susceptible to this, because so many of them were lawyers, where using boilerplate is commonplace and accepted.
  2. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Lifting material you didn't write and crediting it as your own (or not crediting the source) is plagiarism, pure and simple.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Common sense has to prevail at some point.
  4. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Right. And that definition of plagiarism is common sense.
  5. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    A random Wikipedia passage is an unowned amalgam of many different "content editors."
  6. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    He wasn't giving an "elevator summary" he was quoting someone else's material as his own.

    Seems to me, if you don't want to be accused of plagiarism, don't plagiarize.
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Stoolman must be sleeping or this thread would have been locked
    by now.

    It would be fun if Paul ends up running against Biden in 2016.
    The plagiarizer accusations would balance each other out.

    BTW where is Biden? He seems to be missing in action.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Random question: Since anybody can edit a Wikipedia page, why should you have to credit anyone?

    He's reading part of a movie summary. People need to get a grip.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    He apparently was at this photo op with Angela Merkel in an attempt to smooth the waters:

  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I like what I've seen from Paul. I hope he runs in 2016.
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Me too. I like politicians that are willing to go against the grain and
    ask provocative questions. Hell someone has to since the national
    media has for the most part become sheep and stenographers.
  12. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

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